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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Culturing Phytoplankton: My Start to Current.

this stuff is soooo expensive in the store. i am raising brine right now, and want to start raising copepods as well. to do this i need lots of phytoplankton. im gonna get this phytoplankton thing up and running soon, and its pretty cheap. and i am very familiar with the aseptic techniques used in culturing as i have worked with cultures much more picky that phytoplankton. so this sounds like fun and a big time money saver!

but before i get started i wanted to ask those of you who have tried this what is your experience with it? successes? failures?
 

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I could never get my cultures to take off or reach the density I would have liked. Hard for me to keep the culture temp where it needs to be. My basement is quite cool all year round. So I ended going with concentrated stuff below.

Store | Reed Mariculture

May try culturing it again over the next few months when I get some time.

I agree, it's way too expensive in the LFS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so i got it all set up now. we'll see in a week. here the link that i used for references. they clearly have a ton of experience with this stuff. i innoculated my culture with phytofeast because its what i had at the moment. if it doesnt work i will move on to a culture made for innoculations. once the phytoplankton culture kicks off i am going to start with copepods. my brine shrimp culture is too young to see any improvements.

Melevsreef.com - Phytoplankton

the reference to this guys reference is also really good. im using miracle grow as nutrition, this guy has been using it for some time. i trust them seeing as how their articles date back 9 years and were updated several years later with nothing but success.

heres my set up, right now you see brine in the tank, the other half is for my fututre copepods, and the culture jug is my phytoplankton.

 

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Only issue with how you are doing it is that Phyto fest is a mixed phytoplankton. when you grow this out, one of the phytos will overtake the rest of them and you will not know which one. Other than that, it works and I have done it. Meleev has a great page with lots of info.
 

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I tried for about 6 months with no luck. with all of the work/energy/ and marginal success I threw in the towel. If it works for you Ill buy some off you lol. There was a guy on here selling two liters for like $20. Those are the deals that I look for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i know about it being a mixture but didnt really think about on taking over. but your right, that would most likely happen, im gonna finish this one then switch to a pure culture.
 

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Only issue with how you are doing it is that Phyto fest is a mixed phytoplankton. when you grow this out, one of the phytos will overtake the rest of them and you will not know which one. Other than that, it works and I have done it. Meleev has a great page with lots of info.
That was another big pain in growing your own phyto, you have to sterilize everything or you end up contaminating your culture. And then you can't be sure what your growing.

I've been doing tigger pods, and they're pretty easy by the way. I also have some marine daphnia going (salina molina). Seem to be doing alright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well on meleevs reef they say to use dt's phytoplankton. But even that is a mixture of species. This gives me more hopeon using phytofeast.

As for sterilization. I work in a lab at wayne state. Although i did not autoclave anything for this culture i will in the future if needed. No else seems to be autoclaving so i just washed with extremely hot water for this time. Notice how almost everything im using is glass culture equipment and not plastic. This is me thinking ahead. :).

How are you raising copepods without a lot of phyto? Isnt it costing you alot? One of the main reasons im starting phyto is to cut cost on raising copepods and brine.
 

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I bought a nanochloropsis micro culture disk from Florida Aqua Farms when I was trying to culture green water. It was $8.50 plus shipping. They sell other strains also.

Product Listing - LIVE_CULTURES

To sterilize your equipment, the directions I have was to just use a bleach solution and rinse with city tap water (it has chlorine in it). The base saltwater had to be boiled also to kill anything in the mix. Then you're good to go. Make sure the top of the culture bottle is closed off more or less so no air born spores can settle in.

I found the whole process kind of like home brewing beer (thank you Jimmy Carter). Very similar sterilization process. Makes sense to practice home brewing before going into phyto now that I think of it.

Of course you may not have to be that particular if you're just feeding to copepods and brine shrimp. Rotifers can only ingest a certain size algae since they're mouth is so small.

I just dumped some copepods in a 5ga bucket with a little high concentrate rotifer diet from Reeds and let them go. No bubbler or anything. The population is down right now, because I fed many to my dwarf seahroses and they take longer to build back up. Maybe 3 weeks? But I don't keep that water "green" all the time. Sometimes add a little flake food ground up. Seems to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
autoclaving sound a bit easier, and is much more effective. just throw a bottle in the autoclave, push glassware, come back in one hour. i dont like using bleach, i hate it enough using it to decapsulate the brine.

the only reason i didnt go with the agar disc of nanochloropsis is because i already had phytofeast in the fridge.
 

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Copepod Phyto

Hmm.. LiveAquaria.com has a copepod blend of phyto under their live foods section.

PhycoPure Copepod Blend

And it's a mix of "Isochrysus galbana, and Chaetoceros gracilis". So you might be better off with a phyto mix for copepods rather than a single strain.

What salinity and temp are you planning on culturing your copepods at?

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
i will most likely be using old tank water for copepods and brine shrimp. i have heard that this has worked very successfully for many, and you cant beat that convenience, lol. if it doesnt work the first time around i may mix up something different. as for tem im not heating any of my cultures just doing room temp. room temp at my house is 68-72, they should do just fine under those conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
well i think my first attempt has gone bad, no biggie though, i pretty much invested nothing so for. it isnt very green and has gotten pretty cloudy. also i made a mistake measure the miracle grow and add a little too much, didnt realize it till the morning after. (dont tell my boss, she would kill be for being so dumb). so i think im going to buy a pure culture, although i read that nanochloropsis is not the most nutritious for clams. and since i doubt that trigger pods and brine shrimp care what species they are consuming, does anyone know what species they are talking about? i completely forgot where i read this.. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
so i think im gonna do 4 bottles on my next one. escpecially since im investing money into my innoculation cultures. oh and the reason im doing 4 bottles, because im pretty sure im doing 2 strains. im obviously do nanochloropsus, and i will also be doing isochrysis. the isochrysis is supposed to be best for filter feeders like my clam and tube worm. while the nanochoropsus is a faster grower and good for zooplankton cultures. im gonna run all this by my dad, although i have alot of experience with other cultrures, he got his masters in limnology, so i would say his experience in algal cultures tops mine lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Im sure ill have plenty. And im sure it will work. Just because it didnt work the first time means nothing. Its gonna be alot of getting used to not working under a hood, and having an incubator. But i steam sterilized a bunch of my culture bottles. And made about 3 gal of sterile water. Ordering my cultures today should have them wednesday. Soak in water overnight and innoculate thursday morning. Thats my plan and it prolly wont work out like that. Lol

Sent from my Samsung Smartphone using Tapatalk. When I should be doing something more productive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
my plan already isnt going to work, lol. FAF said ill have my cultures in about a week. the good thing though is that next week is spring break so i will have some time off from school, that means more time for cultures. lol.
 

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dputt, do you work in a lab... sounds like it. If so, why not just have your colony there? It would mean transporting stuff to your house but that may be easier in the long run. Or you could just make friends with someone that's already culturing phytoplankton and get some from them!
 
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